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Summary: One resource that I consulted this week said that Tom Watson Sr., founded IBM and guided "Big Blue" for over 40 years. One of his most impressive moments in leadership occurred when a junior executive lost an enormous amount of money ($10 million) on a ri

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INTRODUCTION

Opening Statement: One resource that I consulted this week said that Tom Watson Sr., founded IBM and guided "Big Blue" for over 40 years. One of his most impressive moments in leadership occurred when a junior executive lost an enormous amount of money ($10 million) on a risky venture for the company. Watson called the man into the office and the man entered and nervously blurted out, "I guess you want my resignation?" Watson replied, "You can’t be serious. We’ve just spent $10 million educating you." Mistakes and failures can be teachers that provide us with invaluable lessons!!! And when these mistakes and failures happen in some key major areas of life, where can we go to find guidance? It’s one thing to lose 10 million in a business venture; it’s a far greater thing to lose a relationship with someone you love, like a child.

Question: What should our attitude be when we blow it on our jobs, on the golf course, or with a child?

Quotation: Paul said to the Philippian believers that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (4:13).” What was he saying? Is he saying that if I wake up one morning and decide to ride in the Tour de France that I can expect to win a 2,000 mile race spread over 25 to 30 days through rigorous terrain if I just quote this verse over and over while peddling my bicycle up the hill with Lance Armstrong somewhere in the field of riders below. Or does it mean that if I at 5’ – 9” tall get the basketball at half-court and run toward the hoop, launch from the foul line, and endeavor to “tomahawk” a thunder dunk of the head of my opponent, that I will be successful if I just mutter to myself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Key Word / Outline: I don’t think that Paul meant anything even remotely related to these things when he wrote these words. You see, the Philippian church had experienced failure on at least three fronts.

They had failed / were failing in their relationships. They weren’t getting along. They couldn’t resolve conflict (4:2). Missing a dunk or not getting the yellow jersey is nothing compared to this failure.

They had failed / were failing in their mental attitude (4:8). They had allowed anxiety and fear to totally control their lives.

They had failed / were failing in how to be content with what they had (4:11). Incidentally, we all have experienced failure in one or all of these areas. But Paul doesn’t want us to be defeated. I don’t think dunking a basketball or wearing a yellow jersey even comes close to the three areas that Paul addressed here.

Exposition: And so when Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” he’s saying that you can overcome your failures in all of these areas too. You can succeed at resolving conflict in your relationships. You can have a positive mental attitude. You don’t have to allow anxiety to control your life. You can learn to be content with where you are at this particular juncture in life until God’s sees fit to turn you over to a new chapter.


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